GUN BARREL CITY–Newly appointed Gun Barrel City Manager Jeff Arnswald addressed the Gun Barrel City Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at its recent breakfast meeting Jan. 16 at Chili’s Restaurant in Gun Barrel City.
Arnswald who came to the city as its police chief nearly two years ago, was recently hired to be the city manager after the former city manager resigned. Before coming to the city, Arswald had 30 years with the California Highway Patrol.
Since Arnswald stepped into the city manager role, the police chief position remains open and the city is currently in the selection process, Arnswald told the group. His tenure with the California Highway Patrol left him with a wealth of institutional knowledge in policing and developing public trust and the next police chief will have those same ideals, he added.
Arnswald addressed the unsafe structures in the city, saying that it is a long process, that the 4th Amendment protects the owners, rightfully so, and that due process takes time, but the city is addressing it. Also, on his agenda is animal control, which has raised a lot of public interest at recent city council meetings. Arnswald said he is in the process of developing a registration program with licensing fees for pets in the city to present to the council. “The costs continue to grow and in order for the city to remain viable, we have to look at ways to help support some of those costly endeavors. Over the last couple of years, the animals we have collected due to seizures and voluntary surrenders has doubled and with that comes the doubling of the costs,” Arnswald said.
Arnswald said the city is operating at minimum staffing levels and that he has daily conversations with department heads, communicating consistently to move the city forward in the right direction. Arnswald urged citizens to get involved. With the city currently pursuing a comprehensive plan, there is an online survey to get citizens’ feedback to help guide and direct the plan. “The more involvement we get the more effective it is,” he said.
The city is hosting an open house at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 and Arnswald encouraged the group to attend and to share the news with others to get the citizens’ feedback. “We want the people to help shape the future,” he added.
Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation Technology Development Associate Walter Baker was the spotlight speaker.